I am originally trained as a materials engineer at University of Naples “Federico II”, but since my doctoral studies at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia I combined my expertise on materials with my passion for biology and health research. Here in Tampere University, I work as postdoctoral researcher in the Smart Photonics Materials (SPM) group under the supervision of Prof. Arri Priimägi and in tight collaboration with BioMediTech institute. The aim of my research is the development of light-responsive materials to study and control cell functions in a dynamic environment.
Check out our web page to know more about SPM research!
Fields of expertise
My main expertise resides in the design of smart interfaces for cell culture. In particular, I am greatly interested in the materials structure-property relationship. Light-responsive small molecules such as azobenzenes can isomerize in response to light, provoking fascinating photomechanical effects when embedded inside bulk materials (e.g. amorphous polymers, cosslinked liquid crystalline materials). For instance, we can modify the surface topography of glassy thin films by interference lithography and create grooved supports to align cells and control their directional migration. Moreover, we use different imaging techniques to characterize materials and cell behaviour (e.g. Atomic Force Microscope, Digital Holographic Microscope, Confocal microscopes).